THERE were about 1,800 England fans — including quite a few in the home areas — who made the trip to the Baltics.
They will remember Vilnius for cheap beer, some pretty city-centre sights and the fact they all looked bloody ridiculous in green and yellow ponchos.
As for the game, it will be erased from the memory by the time they step back on to English tarmac.
There were not even any programmes or teamsheets to make paper aeroplanes and relieve the boredom.
As Gareth Southgate’s unconvincing Three Lions held on against the 120th best team in the world, the fans started singing ‘It’s just like watching Brazil’.
While this has been an underwhelming qualifying campaign against some poor teams, we must remember Steve McClaren’s side had a relatively easy group for the Euro 2008 qualifiers and still finished third.
Under Roy Hodgson, England did pretty well in both qualifying campaigns then stunk out in both Brazil and France.
Crucially, the obsession over Southgate’s team playing attacking football has to stop.
We’re simply not good enough to worry about this. If England can somehow bore their way to the latter stages of the World Cup, then it really does not matter.
Southgate needs to get his system sorted and the fact he started with a back three for the first time was a step in the right direction.
He now needs to do the same against Germany and Brazil next month and then for the next two matches in March.
Of the back three and the wing-backs who played against Lithuania, John Stones is the only one with a genuine chance of starting the first match at the World Cup.
But he is still not aggressive enough and lets opposing strikers get across him, as he did at the LFF Stadionas.
Harry Maguire did well enough, Michael Keane will be thankful for Jack Butland’s agility for preventing an own goal while Aaron Cresswell was OK and Kieran Trippier did not get forward enough.
The fact Lithuania had enough chances to at least get a draw should be concerning.
Kyle Walker plus either Danny Rose or Ryan Bertrand on the left will work better with a back three and will offer more offensively.
It was hardly the shock of the weekend that the best striker in English football once again scored — even though it was a questionable spot-kick.
Harry Kane wants the captaincy. Southgate should make him happy and hand over the armband permanently. Particularly as he always seems to score when leading his country.
Kane’s Spurs team-mate Harry Winks delivered an encouraging performance and he does have a chance of making the World Cup squad but needs to start more for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Winks, 21, has played just 121 minutes of Premier League football so he still has a lot of learning to do.
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The lack of decent central midfielders brings us to Adam Lallana.
At times under Hodgson, you had to wonder whether the Liverpool man deserved the chance to play so much.
But he has improved and Southgate admits he has been England’s best player in the last 12 months and they need him back.
Lallana will have been watching back home, thankful he was not playing on a plastic pitch in a stadium that was worse than most grounds in the Vanarama National League.
It was tipping down and on this occasion, there was no need for the local fire brigade to water the pitch like two years ago.
Despite being forced to get used to this surface, the fact it was extra-fast should have benefitted the ‘superior’ side but this was not the case.
Lithuania made life uncomfortable against better players and England must do exactly the same when they take on the world’s finest next year.
Southgate’s side is definitely not pretty. But if they win ugly next summer — and actually get into the latter stages — we really should not care.
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